The hard work of regeneration doesn’t happen over night. Even a caterpillar is trapped in a cocoon sometimes for weeks before he emerges as a butterfly. Sometimes it feels that I’ve been in that state of “washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” forever. And often asking, “What is the point of all this hard work if the end result must be perfection?” And then justify not “working out my salvation with fear and trembling” because, after all, heaven is the only place I’ll be completely renewed.
Change is a fact of life, is it not? We don’t just see it spiritually. It happens on all levels: economical change as the dollar dips or rises in value. Or physically, as our bodies decay. In evolutionary changes, as species adapt to changing temperatures, or to avoid predators. I see it in my son, as he battles to learn what it means to adapt to his environment that he can’t control. Part of living life is adjusting to change, adapting, going with the flow, learning, growing…being transformed. It never stops.
So why should we give ourselves a pass when it comes to our spirituality? Being made in the image of God means that we reflect someone who doesn’t change. Yet in our imperfections, we cannot ever fully understand exactly what that looks like. So what do we do?
Trust the one who made us in that image. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” And trust doesn’t just come: like some magical pill we can take and then poof! Trusting God is easy. Sometimes I think it might practically look more like sanctification…a process.
Do I think trusting God can be easy at times? Yes, for sure. But it doesn’t always look that way. And for the longest time, I thought it had to be easy or it wasn’t trust. But isn’t that what processes are all about? It’s a process for the caterpillar to become a butterfly. It’s a process for us to image Christ more and more. And it’s a process to trust God in the day to day challenges that life offers. So part of this journey I eluded to has been to come to grips with the fact that just because hard things come my way, God doesn’t expect me to react or behave a certain way. As if the prescription must be followed to specific instructions or it means I have failed. No. He wants me to come to Him even when I’m still a caterpillar trying to become a butterfly but I haven’t made it yet. He beckons when I’m a mess, just like He beckons when I’m “put together”. So can you.